What is in your mind the best and most important thing the E.U. and Sweden can do to try to win Dawit Isaak's freedom? What is the worst thing they can do to try to win his release?
D.C.: I frankly doubt they will release anyone as whoever gets out will be able to tell the story of prison conditions and who else is in them today.... I also worry that focusing on a single political prisoner sets up a situation where the character and practice of the regime is no longer the issue. At this point, with Isaias’s grip on power more tenuous than it has been in decades, it is important to reach out (quietly) to the next tier of leaders to emphasize how important it is for political prisoners to be released if Eritrea’s future relations with the international community are to improve. This is also important to convey in the public sphere as a general principle, so that potential opposition to Isaias whom we don't know about—for example, second-tier officers in the EDF (Eritrean Defense Force) —get the message. The worst thing to do would be to allow the regime and its inner circle to think the world has forgotten about them.